To Fight Crime, Carlsbad Will Attempt to Read Every Car's License Plate

The City of Carlsbad has come up with a proactive but controversial way to crack down on an increase in crime. Under the expansion of an automated license reading program approved last week, the city's police will attempt to access vehicle registration information for every car that enters the city.

The $1 million project, which will see stationary cameras added to 14 intersections, has already rankled privacy advocates who say it could easily be abused by nefarious government actors.

Other cities utilize stationary cameras for license plate reading too, but Carlsbad plans to do so on a much broader scale. At the very least, the ACLU says, clear laws and guidelines governing use of the program must be in place. Mayor Matt Hall told residents he thinks the existing safeguards are "more than adequate."


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